Bill C. Caradine was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, priest and friend who left an immeasurable imprint on this world. He was a man who practiced patience, promoted acceptance, provided unconditional love, offered companionship and lifted others up.
Born Dec. 3, 1928, in the small mining town of Flat Creek, Ala., Bill’s slow, southern drawl further accentuated the warmth that was inherent to his nature. His deep voice could fill a room, move people to action, soothe ailing hearts and bring peace to troubled souls. Never was this more apparent than when he delivered sermons and served communion. Bill had a way to make each experience personal, to make clear how much each individual was valued and to exude love.
His compassion for others was ever-present, and after earning his undergraduate degree from Birmingham Southern, he put that trait to excellent use as he attended the School of Theology through the University of the South at Sewanee, Tenn. From the time he was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1967, Bill served his congregations in Alabama and Okinawa, Japan, with passion, love and wisdom.
As a champion for those less fortunate, Bill was called to take a job with the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief in New York City. He traveled the world — Africa, the Philippines, Russia, Central America — delivering training and means for people to develop skills to sustain themselves and their communities. Bill embodied God’s word through his teaching and actions, encouraging others to do the same, saying, “No one ever went poor from giving.”
On July 31, 2019, Bill was reunited with his parents, Tommie and Gladys Caradine; brother Jack Caradine; and son Steven Caradine. He leaves behind a legacy of love; his wife, Francine Caradine; sister Marge Ammons and her husband, Bob; brother John Caradine; brother Tom Caradine and his wife, Lottie; daughter Hilary Gruehl-Laughrey and granddaughters Gillian and Emlyn; son Michael Gruehl and his wife, Sandi, and grandchildren Stella and Michael Jr.; daughter Nancy Acheson and her husband, Steve; granddaughter Marilee Howard and her son, Luke; grandson Matt Howard and his family; granddaughter Amanda Howard and her family; son Joe Caradine and his wife, Cindy; grandson Joey Caradine and his family; son Jim Caradine and his wife, Terrie; grandson Blake Caradine and his family; and granddaughter Courtney Walker and her family.
The family wishes to extend heartfelt appreciation to Elite Hospice, especially Marsha and Connie, and Open Arms Home Healthcare, especially Alysha and Michelle, for their wonderful care and compassion.
In lieu of flowers, please consider giving in Bill’s memory to the Episcopal Church of the Nativity; Alzheimer’s Association; Commission for the Blind; or hospice programs of your choice.
There will be a burial and celebration of life at 2 p.m. Saturday at The Episcopal Church of The Nativity in Lewiston.